News 14 May 2019

Imola ‘perfect opportunity’ for season-first victory declares Rea

Reigning champion scores double-victory at round five.

Image: Supplied.

Four-time defending champion Jonathan Rea says Imola served up the perfect opportunity to earn his first victories of the 2019 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK).

The Kawasaki Racing Team ace was unable to defeat rookie Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) in the rounds leading up to Imola’s fifth stop at the weekend, however the number one overcame the Spaniard in the opening encounter and Superpole race, before race two was cancelled due to poor weather conditions.

“It was a really positive weekend, to get my feeling with the bike here and be able to really get the maximum out of it,” Rea explained. “To pick up two race wins makes me really happy. I want to thank all the team for always believing and keeping on pushing.

“We never stopped believing that this weekend was a perfect opportunity for the chance to win. With our form here in the past, the way our bike works here and the way I ride – it was our chance. So we had to take it and I did, in both races.

“That was positive but unfortunately race three was cancelled because of the weather which came in. I completely understand and I am sure we will get our chance again.”

Rea’s duo of victories saw him marginally close the gap on Bautista, the difference now at 43 points as the series returns to action on 7-9 June at Jerez in Spain.

Related